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A Sick Day for Amos McGee

4.24 of 5 stars 4.24  ·  rating details  ·  11,645 ratings  ·  1,575 reviews
Amos McGee, a friendly zookeeper, always made time to visit his good friends: the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl.

But one day—"Ah-choo!"—he woke up with the sniffles and the sneezes. Though he didn't make it into the zoo that day, he did receive some unexpected guests.

Philip C. Stead's gently humorous tale of friendship and dedication is il
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published May 25th 2010 by Roaring Brook Press (first published 2010)
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City Dog, Country Frog by Mo WillemsA Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip C. SteadChalk by Bill ThomsonArt & Max by David WiesnerBink & Gollie by Kate DiCamillo
2011 Caldecott Hopefuls
2nd out of 74 books — 138 voters
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice SendakMake Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskeyThe Snowy Day by Ezra Jack KeatsThe Polar Express by Chris Van AllsburgThe Little House by Virginia Lee Burton
Caldecott Medal Winners
33rd out of 79 books — 310 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Sometimes children’s book reviewers bandy about the term “classic” like it was a verbal shuttlecock. There’s nothing that raises the savvy readers’ eyebrows faster than to see some wordsmith drooling profusely over “a new classic” or a book merely “destined to become a classic”. Even worse is when they start calling a book “old-fashioned”. Nine times out of then what they’re talking about is the fact that the book parrots some picture book title of the past. That’s the crazy thing about A Sick D ...more
This 2010 debut is up for some awards and for good reason. I think it's got a glorious "classic" feel in both the illustrations and the text; it is just so gentle and yet full of humor and imagination and good-heartedness and fun. Amos McGee is the sort of old man that I admire so deeply; one who has taken his old years as a blessing rather than a curse and who shares his time and his wisdom and kind heart with others. In this case, he works at a zoo and spends time with each animal there, getti ...more
Evelyn Tapia
I really liked reading this book because it was short and the pictures went along with the story. I think this picture book falls under one of the levels of illustration which is symmetry. The reader can find themselves enjoying reading this book. I think this would be appropriate for 1st and 2nd graders because it’s easy to understand for them. The story begins with Amos, an elderly, who works at the zoo. Throughout the day Amos went through a routine; from waking up,to taking the bus to work, ...more
Lisa Vegan
Jan 30, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: bedtime reading for kids who like quiet stories, animals & who enjoy being amused
Recommended to Lisa by: Kathryn
I was sure I’d dock at least one star from my rating of this book because a zoo features prominently in the story, and I hate zoos. Huge thumbs down on zoos from me. But this story has enough fantastical elements that I ended up not being concerned with the over the top benign way this zoo, and its animals and zookeeper/zoo worker, were presented.

I love that Amos has a teddy bear, and I particularly love the relationships between Amos and the several of the animals who are in the story.

The illu
Feb 04, 2011 Natalie rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Natalie by: scbwi
My daughter read A Sick Day for Amos McGee aloud to me before she went to sleep and it was a treat for both of us.

I love stories for children where older characters retain a child-like quality of bonhomie and easy camaraderie. Amos has both which makes him irresistible to me. The structure of this book is really comforting too, a there and back again plot where the protagonist goes on a journey wherein the reader is introduced to everyone worth knowing and then they are separated but not for lo
I was utterly charmed by this book. It has a gentle humor, a sweetness and an inherent loveliness that really makes it special.

Amos McGee got up early every morning, changed into his uniform, and headed to work at the City Zoo. Even though he had a busy work schedule, he always had time to visit his friends. He played chess with the elephant, ran races with the tortoise, sat quietly with the shy penguin, wiped the rhino’s runny nose, and read books to the owl who was afraid of the dark. But one
Marybeth Batie
I thought that this book was very well written and told a very cute story. Amos McGee is a zoo keeper and visits his animal friends every day to take care of them. One day, he is sick and can't make it to work, so the animals decide to pay him a visit and take care of him. I thought that the theme of friendship and loyalty shined through the pages, with the idea that you should always be there for your friends. It was comical to see the animals waiting at the bus stop, and I am sure children wou ...more
This book came to me highly recommended, and lived up to it all (not an easy thing to do!).

This is an incredibly sweet, fantastical story about a zookeeper who spends his time with his good friends at the zoo (and those friends are the animals, of course!).
He does all sorts of fun things (like playing chess with the elephant) or thoughtful things (like sitting with the penguin who is shy) and truly seems to have a bond and friendship with them.
So, when Amos McGee doesn't come into work one day,
Carlos Gastelum
Stead, E., E. (2010) A sick day for amos mcgee. New York, NY: Georg von Holtzbrinck Publishing Group.

A Sick Day for Amos Mc Gene is a picture book about a punctual zookeeper named Amos. Unfortunately, one day Amos wakes up very ill and is not able to show up to work, so the animals decide to pay him a surprise visit. Upon their arrival they decide to brighten up Amos’s day and succeed in helping him feel better. Each page is filled with pictures of animals doing unbelievable things. The illustra
"A Sick Day for Amos McGee" is a Caldecott winner, and when viewing the illustrations, it is clear why. Amos McGee is a zookeeper, and without fail he gets to work on time everyday. He spends time with numerous animals each day, playing chess with the elephant, running races with the tortoise, and sitting with the penguins, etc.. One morning, Amos wakes up and he isn't feeling very well. He decides that it is best for him to stay at home in bed and rest. All of the animals at the zoo miss him, s ...more
Kristen Carson
Book Information:
The genre of this book is comedy and humor. The reading level is ages 5-7 and is grade level 3.
Amos McGee is a man who goes to the zoo every day to see his friends the elephant, penguin, rhino, tortoise, and owl. He plays chess with the elephant, sits with the penguin, wipes the rhino’s runny nose, runs races with the tortoise, and reads to the owl. When Amos does not show up to the zoo one day because he is sick his friends from the zoo come to him. They do everything t
Michele Knott
Somehow, I just never got around to reading this book.
I'm glad I finally did.
What a beautiful tale of friendship.
Stead is quite talented with making books that have characters that come to life in his book. They become dimensional characters that you wish would reside outside of the pages.
Colby Sharp
A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a beautiful picture book. In a day where it seems bright colors, and crazy art rule picture books, A Sick Day for Amos McGee is beautiful in its unflashiness. This great tale of friendship and love will become a long time favorite in both my classroom and home.
Uisung Cho
I used to wish I could become friends with animals when I was a child. The warm story of Amos McGee and his animal friends brought me back to my childhood. Amos McGee is a friendly zookeeper who loves and cares about the animals at the zoo more than anyone. He visits them every day and knows what they like and what they need. One day, Mr. McGee gets a terrible cold and stays home to rest. Wondering why Amos is not around them, the animals decide to visit him. Mr. McGee becomes so happy when they ...more
Working in the zoo is a great way to learn about animals. But playing chess with them or running races is something that everyone would like to experience at least once in a lifetime. For Amos McGee, life of a zookeeper is nothing but work. Every day he plays chess with an elephant or sits quietly with a penguin “who was very shy” until one day, when Amos McGee does not come to the zoo. What will the animals do to meet with their friendly human is hidden in the neatly illustrated book of Philip ...more
Lovely and sweet. I really enjoyed the simple story and loved the drawings. My son loved the animals and named them over and over on each page. (He especially loved the owl and the balloon.)
Jessica Cain
Summary and Critique:
At the beginning of the book I wasn’t too fond of the illustrations but the words definitely brought the store to life for me. The animals that Amos visited at the zoo everyday ended up visiting him on the day he was sick, they rode a bus to his house and surprised him because he normally spends his days with them. The pictures were well done but I don’t think they added to the story. The words were definitely needed in order to make this story a good one, probably because
Jocelyn Mejia
Amos Mcgee is a zookeeper that has a very important job to do everyday, which is to is to make time and visit his friends at the zoo. His friends are the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoceros, and the owl. With each of his friends he would spend valuable time with them by enjoying an activity that they each loved. One morning Amos woke up feeling sick and decided to stay home from work. His friends at the zoo noticed and missed Amos so they all decided to go visit Amos at his house ...more
Hillary Arellano
I like this book. It is such a nice story to read to a class of children. We enjoy how this story is so full of caring characters. The illustrations are a little different than some of the other children's books I have read to my preschool class. The colors are softer and there are a lot of straight lines with the illustrations. I like that the colors of the book do not take away from the story. The colors of the animals are more true colors. The kids talk more about the storyline than they do t ...more
A Sick Day for Amos McGee written by Philip C. Stead was such a beautiful story that warmed my heart. This delightful story is about a zookeeper who rises early each morning, puts on a fresh-pressed uniform and catches the 6a.m. but to the City Zoo where Amos works as a zookeeper. Though Amos works hard all day, he always makes time for his friends that live at the zoo. Amos plays chess with friend Elephant, runs races with tortoise, sits quietly with a shy penguin, wipes rhinoceros runny nose w ...more
Taylor Melum
Citations: Stead, Philip. (2010. A sick day for amos McGee. New York, NY. Roaring Brook Press.
Genre: Children's literature/ Fantasy
Format: Picture book
Reading level: 2
Theme/topic: Friendship
Gender: Male

Mr. McGee lived a very simple life as a zoo keeper and loved spending time with his animal friends. He spent most of his time with the animals and they all kept each other company. Each animal enjoyed different types of company like playing chess or just sitting in silence and enjoying ea
Madison Young
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katie Levin
A Sick Day for Amos McGee:
Written by Philio C Stead
Illustrated by Erin E Stead
Summary: Amos Mcgee is a loyal zookeeper at the local zoo. He loves the animals very much and makes sure to visit them everyday making sure that they were healthy and happy. He would spend endless hours with these animals, which show his devotion to them, and how much he loved them. I thought this was very touching to see in a storybook. On the day that Amos McGee was sick, his animal friends came to take care of him a
Natalie Payton
A Sick Day for Amos McGee written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead was a children’s picture book about a man and his animal friends from the zoo. It is a very heartwarming story about their friendship and the kindness they share together. It is about a man, Amos McGee, whose routine was catching the bus and going to see his good friends at the city zoo. He has a specific friendship with each animal he visits, the elephant, the tortoise, the penguin, the rhinoc
Kristi Scramlin
A Sick Day for Amos McGee is now one of my favorite books about the power of friendship, and to share with kids that family doesn’t have to be blood related. It takes you through a normal day for Amos McGee a zoo keeper and what he does with all is friends at the zoo. Then one day Amos comes down with a cold and the animals get worried when he hasn’t come by for their special time that day, so they decide to leave the zoo and go visit him at his home. Amos is so surprised when they show up that ...more
Jordan Croom
The 2011 Caldecott Medal winner, A Sick Day for Amos McGee tells the story of an old man named Amos that worked for the zoo. Everyday Amos had the same daily schedule; he would wake up early, eat his breakfast and then catch the bus to the zoo. Each day at the zoo he would visit each of the animals. One day Amos woke up and wasn’t feeling well and decided not to go to work. The animals noticed that he was missing, so they caught the bus to Amos’ house, and spent the day with him. The use of colo ...more
Kathryn Anne Russell
A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Philip and Erin Stead is about Amos, an old man who gets up early every day to go to the city zoo and attend to the human-like needs of the animals there. The book describes his morning; Amos gets up very early and puts on a fresh-pressed uniform before making oatmeal and tea. He walks to the bus stop and catches the 6 o’clock bus to the city zoo. The book describes the special activities he does with each animals, such as playing chess with the elephant, racing the ...more
This story is about an older man who gets ready and goes to work at the zoo. He played chess with the elephant, ran races with the turtle, sat with a penguin and read to the owl. One day was different from every other day, Amos was sick. The animals sat their waiting but Amos never made it, so the animals went to Amos. They did all of their usual day activities and then went to bed. The illustrations in this book have very small lines and not very vibrant colors so it looks a little more old fas ...more
Kiera Burnett
Summary and Critique:
A Sick Day for Amos McGee is a story of true friendship and treating others the way you would want to be treated. Illustrator Erin Stead uses woodblock printing and pencil to add a realistic touch to her illustrations, complex with intricate facial expressions, eyebrows, and even wrinkles. Readers enjoy illustrations that measure up to the artistic standards not just for children's books, but of the art world as well. While the illustrations are beautiful and intricate, the
I've decided to base my rating on the illustrations, since that's what this book is known for. (It won the 2011 Caldecott.) The story itself is three stars for me. Perhaps I'm a grump but the touch of McGee asking his sugar pot for sugar every morning was just...saccharine (pun intended). The writing had a hard road to climb afterward. Also, as a Notable Children's Book panelist pointed out at ALA Midwinter this year, the story is a little too close to Lobel's A Zoo for Mister Muster for comfort ...more
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